so you’re probably looking at this title thinking “duhhh”, or you’re in the “the more, the better” camp, like some many of us living abroad when it comes to travel. while it certainly can bring some much needed excitement to life (travel is accelerated living!), there’s something to be said for taking some time to be at home for awhile.
after our big nordland adventure this summer, we have planned and gone on some great (shorter) trips, but the focus is, happily, more at home right now. what are the advantages to not traveling?
1. doing all the local things
drinks with friends, going to the market, snuggly weekend brunches with nancy sinatra on the stereo, investing in the place you choose to call home. this is probably why i’d never want to be a digital nomad. i like having a home base. i like having friendly faces i see almost every time i leave the house, and i like cozy nights at home. when you are gone all the time, you can’t make those connections, have those conversations, and be a proper neighborhood fixture. or veg on the couch, either one. i’ve heard lots of stories about expats wondering why they can’t meet anyone or make friends in their new town. guess what? it’s probably because you are constantly traveling. which is cool and everything, but you’ve just got to decide where your priorities lie.
2. investing in the betterment of your situation
when we travel a lot, other things go untended. our clothes, our shoes, our electronics, our belongings. we sometimes pour every koruna into trips and none into the upkeep of the things we already have. however, there simply needs to be upkeep. whether it’s in the garden or purchasing a new sorely needed computer, there are certain life upgrades that are required to make you feel as though you’re not living on the breadline. staying at home helps with not only money, but the time to get all of these errands done.
3. we can have a pet!
alex and i are not always on the go– we both have homebody tendencies (even though it may seem to friends like we’re always going somewhere!), and aside from something delicious-smelling roasting in the oven, something that makes us feel at home is hearing the tippy-taps of doggy paws on a hardwood floor. at first, having a dog was one of those far-off “one day” conversations, and then we realized we found ourselves in the super dog-friendly czech republic*… have a good house situation to have one… and the fact we are never both gone from the house at the same time for more than three hours really helps seal the deal that this could be the perfect dog situation. if we traveled all the time, it just couldn’t happen.
making us feel even better about this decision, a handful of friends have generously offered (already!) that if we do happen upon this dog, they would be happy to watch it when/if we are on holiday. (friends: you are all awesome)
i know a lot of people would think getting a pet while living abroad seems silly and costs money – it definitely goes against the principles i outline in one of my favorite posts, how i travel often on a teacher’s budget.
but, you know what?
i just don’t care as much about keeping all the costs down as i used to. things like private language lessons or having a dog is more important to me than what i could do with that money otherwise.
(personal note: i am happy to say the doggy situation is in the works and we have met our new best friend! can’t wait to share more soon!)
traveling is certainly something. but it ain’t everything, y’all.
what is your travel / home philosophy like? do you prioritize budgeting for travel? it’s hard to find a middle ground sometimes between everything that is pulling your wallet in different directions.
if you’re interested in this topic, a former praguer i know wrote this great blog post titled “does travel ruin your life?”.
this post is a part of wanderful wednesday.
*did you know the czech republic has the highest dog and cat ownership rate in europe? as of 2013, half of czech households have at least one pet.